Fall is the season at Ha's Apple Farm
September 29, 2018
How many Tehachapi residents have driven Steuber Rd. between Tehachapi Blvd. and Highline Rd. and noticed a little sign on the east side of the road that said "Ha's Apple Farm" and wondered, " are they ever open?" Starting on Sept. 28, Tehachapi's best kept secret will be open every weekend for local residents to sample the products that have represented our area in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California for over 30 years. According to owner, David Ha, it is not unheard of for a Los Angeles distributor to buy his products and sell them here in Tehachapi.
David and Kyung Ha immigrated to the United States in 1974 from South Korea. They learned the grocery business during their many years in Los Angeles. When David and Kyung Ha bought their 23 acres on Steuber Rd. 34 years ago, local names like Patterson, Sullivan and Nunes were the big fruit growers in the area. David and Kyung quietly began to grow their business, marketing to the people they knew in Los Angeles. Today the quality of Ha's fruit and products are known all over L.A.
David said that Tehachapi is the perfect place for orchards. The 4000 foot elevation provides the perfect balance of warm sunshine and cold temperatures needed to grow perfect fruit. They started growing Fuji apples for their crisp taste and popularity and over the years have added Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and many other varieties.
Over the years, David and Kyung acquired more acreage around the Tehachapi area to accommodate their expanding fruit orchards. What started with apples, expanded to peaches, pears, jujube and table grapes. When asked what a jujube is, David responded, "Asians like jujube, it is like a medicine in China." He also claims to have 15 acres planted with the biggest and best peaches in Tehachapi. Ha's Apple Farm now sells dried fruit, apple butter, jams, jellies, cider, vinegar and eventually, wine vinegar all made on the Steuber Rd. ranch. Some time ago, they added a few thousand chickens and few hundred ducks and are now a major egg supplier in addition to their produce.
Raised on the Steuber Rd. farm were the couple's four children. Their oldest son, Peter, is a computer expert. Daughter, Jane, and her husband live in San Diego and teach handicapped students. James was educated at Johns Hopkins University, spent three years in the seminary and now teaches medicine. Their youngest, Polly, attended Yale University on a full-ride scholarship. Needless to say, they are very proud of all of them.
Now in their 70s, with their family grown, David and Kyung want to focus more on the community that has supplied their livelihood and has been their home for so many years. Very recently some of their products have been available at the Tehachapi Natural Market in Golden Hills. Now they will have their products available at the store that they are building at their Steuber Rd. home.
David also has a dream that their 23 acre home will someday become a place where Tehachapi children can come and play with farm animals or perhaps visit a huge pumpkin patch as well as be a place where their parents can buy fruit and fruit products or flowers like the lilacs and peonies that grow there.
The dream starts to become a reality on Friday, Sept. 28. The store at 20916 Steuber Rd. is planned to be open Fri., Sat. and Sun. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the week, call (661) 330-8949 or (661) 330-1980 for appointments.